One Smile !

Generic-OneSmile-logo-Outlines-652x256Tonight is the Minnesota Dental Foundation annual fundraiser gala. The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The foundation supports the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Volunteered Dental Services, Give Kids and Smile, and many other programs.

The annual gala showcases the recent activities of the Foundation and highlights the organizations that benefit from the work of the Foundation.

I’m looking forward to spending a nice evening with many professional colleagues and some of my business partners.

One of the activities at the gala is a silent auction.  You can preview the auction items at  www.qtego.net/qlink/mndental.

Normally I do not purchase any items in the auction.  At this point in life, I really don’t need more “stuff”.  But, I do support the auction by donating items.  This year, I donated two custom made items.

Fused glass serving plate with the MDF logo.

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Stepping stone with MDF logo.

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Hopefully these items will bring some nice bids.  Looking forward to a nice evening!

The Minnesota Great Get-Together

img_2410.jpgThe Minnesota State Fair is currently taking place.  If you are not from MN, you may not realize how big our state fair is.  While MN only ranks 12th in size and 21st in population, it ranks second in state fair attendance, with over 2 million people attending each year.  This is just behind Texas at 2.25 million visitors.  However, Texas is second in land mass, second in population, and their state fair runs for 24 days (twice the length of the MN fair).  Thus, I would say that the Minnesota State Fair outranks even Texas.

The fair is so popular that, even on a rainy morning like today, there were lots of people in attendance.  What do people like to do at the fair?  When I asked some of my friends, they replied: eat the food, attend a concert, eat the food, see the animals, eat the food….

I think you get the picture – there is lots of food to eat if that is what you are interested in.

For me, the State Fair is a place to go to see the craftsmanship and creativity in the Arts and Crafts Building. Today was no exception.  After getting very wet walking from the transit center to the A&C building, I spent a couple hours walking around taking pictures.

Here are my quilts:

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Me (with my wet hair) in front of “Burst Doll Quilt”, which received a first place in the child quilt category.
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“Burst” bed quilt received a second place in the pieced bed quilt category.
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My reversible tree quilt “Childhood Memories” received a second place in the mixed techniques category.  Unfortunately, you can only see one side of the quilt and none of the shadow painting.  
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“Window on My World” placed fourth in the wall quilt category.  I re-entered it this year because I was surprised that it did not place last year and knew that there was a different judge this year. 

Some of the other quilting highlights:

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Sweepstakes winner – Mary Alsop

 

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Best Hand Applique – Terri White
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Best Machine Quilting – Marilla Schmitt
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Knit & Bolt Award – Susan Nevling

 

Some other crafts that caught my eye:

 

Watermelon Season

Each week, I enjoy checking out the local farmer’s markets.  The produce options this time of the year are amazing – carrots, cucumber, cauliflower (some are even purple), tomatoes, beans – and the list goes on and on.  This week, I started seeing watermelon for sale.

Watermelon seems to be the unofficial symbol of late summer.  So, I decided to make some watermelon decorations for my kitchen – a fused glass sun catcher and matching display plate.

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The sun catcher used clear class as the base layer (with a couple “bites” taken), red transparent glass, green streaky transparent glass, Clover Blend medium frit and white opaque coarse frit. The project was fused using a “light fuse” schedule, max temp 1425.

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The display plate used opaque white glass as the base layer.  Red transparent glass, green and white streaky glass, and white opaque coarse frit were used to make the watermelon. The background checkerboard was 1/2″ pieces of black and white opaque glass cut and fitted around the watermelon.  The project was full fused and then slumped into a plate form.

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Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far!!

Happy Independence Day!

FlagPlate

In honor of our American Independence Day, I am posting a picture of a glass plate that I made which combines two of my favorite crafts, quilting and fused glass.

The design is based upon the Friendship Block.  The pattern is two of these blocks of different sizes superimposed upon one another to make a single block.

Pattern

It is possible that the resulting block design has another name. If so, I am unaware of it.

Supplies:
  • Spectrum Blue and Clear Wispy Coe 96 glass, cut to match pattern
  • Uroboros Clear and White Streaky Coe 96 glass, cut to match pattern
  • Uroboros Clear and Grenadine Coe 96 glass, cut to match pattern
  • Clear Coe 96 glass, 7″ x 7″
  • 7″ plate mold

 

Wind chimes from wine bottle.

IMG_1933When I started making fused glass mushrooms, I had to ask friends for empty wine bottles because I generally don’t drink any alcoholic beverages and so we had none at our house.  In doing this, I was received several colors of bottles – dark green, olive green, clear, blue, brown and amber.  Since the green are the only ones that worked well for mushroom stalks, that left me to think about other ideas for the different colors of bottles.

So, last week when I needed something to recognize an outgoing president of one of the organizations I am a member of, I decided to use one of the clear wine bottles to make another unique recognition item – a wind chime.

Supplies:IMG_2678
  • Clear Wine Bottle
  • Kinkajou bottle cutter
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Adhesive Stencil
  • Armour Etch Glass Etching Paste
  • Craft stick
  • Gloves, eyewear, apron
  • Drop Cloth
  • Coe 96 white glass
  • Heat resistant wire
  • Wooden Disks/Beads
  • Chain
  • Various Beads
Instructions:
1. Following the directions for use, cut the bottom off of the wine bottle using the Kinkajou bottle cutter.  I scored and cut about one inch up from the bottom.  Smooth the edge with glass file or glass sanding pads.
2. Clean the surface of the glass with rubbing alcohol, making sure to remove all finger prints.  Firmly adhere the cut stencil on the bottle.
3. Apply the Armour Etch paste to the glass following the suggestions in my original post about glass etching.

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4. Create a wind scope or wind sail.  I cut two tooth shapes out of white fusible glass.  These were full fused together with a wire loop at the top to facilitate assembly of the wind chime.
5. Using wire and pieces of chain, string together the beads to a visually pleasing length.  I used a wooden wheel shape for the striker and a wooden candle cup turned upside down to keep the beads from pulling out of the bottle.
The resulting wind chime creates a pleasant sound and a unique piece of visual art!

Happy Easter, He is Risen! Καλό Πάσχα και Χριστός Ανέστη!

Yes, I know,  I am not Greek Orthodox, nor am I from any of the countries that observe Orthodox Easter.  But, since we were traveling last Sunday, we had our Easter celebration today.  And, since Easter is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, shouldn’t we celebrate every day of the year!

He is risen indeed. Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

Prior to leaving for Spring Break, I spent some time making an Easter plate for my kitchen plate holder.  I think it turned out really well.

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The creation of this plate involved several steps:

  1. Base of plateIMG_1607
    • Bottom glass – clear layer of glass measuring just under 7″ square
    • Top glass – medium blue outer border 1/2″ wide, green noodle (standing on edge) and varied sized pieces of variety of transparent blue glass in a patchwork pattern
    • Light amber glass cut in 5/8″ strips to make the base of the cross
    • 7″ square stainless steel form, lined with shelf paper
    • Full fused
  2. Pieces of purple transparent medium frit to make grapes full fused (visible on the right side of the stainless steel form in the photo above)
  3. Green noodles and stringer, bent by holding the glass in the flame of a soldering torch
  4. Dove and dove wing cut from thin iridescent white glassIMG_1609
  5. Leaves cut from thin green glass
  6. Cross cut from dark amber glass, slumped over 1/8″ fiber paper to be able to “weave” the glass
  7. Cross, dove, vines and grapes place onto base glass and light contour fused to the plateIMG_1612
  8. Slump in a plate mold.

Dresden Village Fused Glass Clock

img_1350Wanting to add some color to my sewing room, and make something functional, I decided to make a fused glass clock.  Actually, I just needed an excuse to work with glass again .

Looking at ideas on-line,  I found lots of pictures of clocks that other people had made (see photo below for some of my favorites).  While all of these were great, and any one of them would have been fun to make, I really wanted to come up with an idea that was unique to me.

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So, one day while I was looking at some pictures of quilts, I came up with an idea for my clock.  The quilting project I saw was called “Dresden Village”.  This pattern involved using the Dresden Plate pattern to make a center table mat that depicted houses around a circle.

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Since the Dresden Plate pattern involves pie shaped pieces sewn into a circle, I thought it would be an ideal pattern to use for a clock.  The circle could be divided into 24 pieces each with a 15 degree angle.  Pieced together, the taller houses mark the hours and the smaller houses mark the half hour.  To further differentiate the time, I made the doors of the taller houses with black noodles and the smaller houses with red noodles.

 

 

IMG_1280The house numbers were printed on photo transfer paper and the windows were dichroic slide paper.  Black glass was used to add a roof to each house.  Glass Frit of various sizes and shades of green were used to create trees and shrubs in the “Central Park”.  The clockworks were added.

Now I have a colorful clock in my sewing room!

Clock Ideas
Other clock ideas I liked

Suncatchers for year-round flowers

Another gift recently given was to my younger brother.  He grows Dahlias in the summer and they are gorgeous.

Living in Wisconsin, these beautiful blooms are only around at his house for a few months each year.  With his birthday coming up, I thought I would make him some sun catchers to bring some color to the winter months.

The background was a single sheet of clear glass, with strips of the same glass used as the hanger.  The stems were green noodles, the leaves were scraps of transparent green glass, and the flowers were various sizes of glass frit.  The project was fired following a Contour Fuse schedule.  Quick and easy project with a lovely outcome.

Glass Votive Candle Holders

Now that Christmas and a few January birthday gifts have been given, I can post some recent projects.  Today, I am showing some votive candles that I made for two in my extended family.

In November, I completed a four panel fused glass project for my sister-in-law.  After making this four seasons picture, I decided to make a matching votive candle that had the four seasons depicted on sides of the glass.

First, I fused together two pieces of clear glass to form the main part of the votive. Next, was to add the trees.  Since the votive candle was small, the trees would need to be made from something other than traditional fused glass – that glass would be too thick.

Option 1. Bend brown stringer to look like a tree.  I tried this but never could get two trees to look alike.

Option 2. Draw trees with Glassline paint  I thought about it and wanted to try something that would look better than hand drawn.

Option 3.  Cut trees out of fusible transfer paper.

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This is the option I decided to go with. A few years ago, I had used transfer paper to make a sign for another sister-in-law’s kitchen.  While printed black, the iron oxide in the toner fuses to the glass with a nice sepia tone.  This brown color should work nicely for trees.

Using an older model black laser printer (the toner cartridge needs to have a high iron content), I printed a black square on the Photo Transfer Paper.

Then, I used a paper punch in the shape of a tree to make four tree shaped transfers.  Each punched image was then transferred to the four corners of the glass and allowed to dry.

Using medium and fine frit in various colors, the ground and leaves were added to the trees.

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Around the same time, I decided to make a votive to match the “Cook’s Kitchen” sign.  For this I made grape vines using the tree punch but cutting off some of the branches and turning the direction of the tree.  Green confetti glass was used for the leaves and medium weight purple frit was used for the grapes.

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The glass was then contour fused and slumped over a metal mold.

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Pretty gifts to give to a couple special ladies.

Christmas 2017

Today we celebrate the birth of our King, Jesus. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for who he is, all he has done and his great love for us. Yes, Christmas is a special time of year here at the Erickson house.  Merry Christmas to everyone!

A Christmas Craft – Fused Glass Ornaments

 

A Christmas Recipe – Cranberry Honey ButterIMG_2579

1 cup salted butter, softened
1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs orange peel

Beat together all ingredients and divide into jars.  Store refrigerated. Enjoy!